I had been typing... for hours. And now my fingers hurt. A lot.
And even though all of them hurt, my pinky finger on my left hand was starting to cramp - which makes it very difficult to type.
As I paused from my typing, I used my right hand to massage my left hand. Which only helped so much because that hand was also hurting!
I still had at least an hour of typing left to do and I contemplated taking some pain killers.
But instead, I opened my drawer and pulled out a tin of Arnica salve to apply to the joints of my fingers (but particularly my left pinky finger).
We live in a world that is full of toxins, including the drugs in medicines.
Although our bodies are designed to be able to handle toxins at some level, I believe that we routinely exceed that level through our daily living in the world today. Taking medicines adds to that toxin load on our already taxed organs.
And so whenever I have an effective natural choice, I always choose that first.
If you're like me, you may be looking for natural alternatives for common issues you face.
This may not be the first time you've heard of Arnica Salve. In your search for natural healing options, you may have come across Arnica and wondered what Arnica is good for.
Let's start with some basics.
Arnica is a perennial, yellow-orange flower resembling a daisy and belonging to the sunflower family. The plants have long, downy leaves and the flowers are 2-3 inches wide. In the United States, it primarily grows in the western mountains, but can be found elsewhere as well.
There are several species of Arnica and most of them contain an anti-inflammatory compound called helenalin. This compound can be highly toxic if ingested so Arnica should not be taken internally without strict safety protocols because it can harm the liver.
When used topically, the liver is not harmed. But Arnica should still be properly diluted so that it doesn't irritate the skin. The helenalin is believed to be responsible for the pain relief that comes with the safe use of Arnica.
At Goat Milk Stuff, we are unable to grow and harvest our own Arnica. So we purchase organic Arnica grown in the United States to use in our Arnica salve.
We originally created our Arnica salve for our own personal use (more on that later), but we were so impressed by its effects, that we made the salve available to others as well.
Helenalin was mentioned earlier and this phytonutrient is primarily responsible for Arnica's reputation to speed up healing.
White blood cells are able to decrease the excess fluid and blood that can become trapped in the body and lead to swelling, bruising, inflammation, and ultimately pain. Helenalin encourages and stimulates the white blood cells so that they can do their job effectively.
Arnica helps to stimulate blood flow which may help the body to begin a speedier recovery. The improved circulation and the white blood cells help stop injured capillaries from bleeding and forming bruises. The increased oxygen also works to heal the affected area.
There is another process by which Arnica can relieve pain and swelling. As mentioned, Arnica is naturally anti-inflammatory. The helenalin selectively inhibits the production of Nuclear Factor Kappa Beta (NF-kβ).
This is how Arnica can help speed up healing. We've been making Arnica Salve for years and have found that there are 3 benefits that come with using Arnica Salve.
Muscle pain can be caused by overusing your muscles during intense exercise or just every day life. It can also be caused by any number of medical conditions. But no matter the cause, when your muscles hurt, you want relief!
Arnica has been used for years to relieve muscle soreness. While we couldn't find any scientific studies conclusively proving its effectiveness, we did run a personal experiment to test the efficacy of Arnica Salve.
Years ago, the Jonas family did an intensive workout program (P90X3) for 90 days. After each workout, we would apply the arnica salve to one set of muscles, but not the other.
For example - after an arms workout, we applied it to our left bicep and tricep, but not the right side. On leg day our right quads, calves, and hamstrings (but not our left) got the Arnica Salve. We alternated so that whether we were a "righty" or "lefty" didn't impact the results.
Within 2 weeks of using the Arnica Salve, we felt noticeably less soreness on the side that got the arnica treatment. After that, every sore muscle got arnica salve applied because we were convinced of the salve's ability to help with sore muscles.
Osteoarthritis is more common than rheumatoid arthritis and is often referred to as "wear-and-tear" arthritis. But both types of arthritis are often treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.
Since many people wish to reduce their dependency on NSAIDs, arnica salve may often be a good alternative. The anti-inflammatory properties of arnica can help relieve the joint pain that accompanies arthritis.
Here are a few reviews from some of our customers who suffer with arthritis...
"This was wonderful on my joints! I have mild arthritis that flares occasionally and the arnica salve really helps alleviate soreness!" - Andrea A.
"I have been using arnica salve for 18 months for my arthritis. I no longer need a pain killer, just the arnica salve on a daily basis." - Jacqueline B.
"I have arthritic knees. The doctor said I need surgery, but he wanted for me to try to wait it out because the replacement knees wear out in about 20 years. That would put me well into my 80's. Not a good time for knee surgery again. So I ordered the Arnica Salve in hopes I could get some relief from the pain. On busy days, it's hard to even stand, and walking is more like hobbling. I use the Arnica Salve and by morning the pain is gone. Arnica has saved me a lot of $$$ in surgery" - Connie
If you suffer from arthritis pain, we can't promise that you will have similar relief. But with so many positive experiences, the Arnica Salve may be worth a try!
According to folklore, Arnica was originally discovered by goat herders! (You see, goat herders are very smart.) The story goes like this...
Goat herders spend a lot of time watching their goats. These observant goat herders noticed that occasionally the goats would fall, stumble, or get in a fight. After an injury, their goats would climb up the mountains, search out the arnica flowers, and eat them. Eating the arnica helped ease any bruising or swelling the goats experienced. (You see, goats are pretty smart, too!)
Earlier I mentioned the compound helenalin. This compound in Arnica is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help relieve bruising and swelling. Helenalin is believed to relieve pain, aches, and bruising when applied topically.
"I LOVE this salve! I have fibromyalgia and arthritis. This helps relieve the pain and swelling associated with both! One of my children complains about his legs aching (growing pains) he uses and loves it as well because it helps so much! I highly recommend this product!" - Stacey H.
Those are 3 main benefits of using Arnica. But the main question most people really want to know is...
As we've shown, the compounds in Arnica can directly affect your body's immune system in a way that can help reduce inflammation.
And a reduction in inflammation can definitely lead to a reduction in pain.
Can Arnica make the pain completely disappear?
Anecdotally... sometimes yes and sometimes no.
But isn't it worth a try?
Arnica is a natural way to address pain that comes from any number of causes from a difficult workout to arthritis to an injury.
Don't rely on medications that often have side-effects. Long-term use of NSAIDS has been linked to stomach, intestine, and kidney problems among others. Instead, try a natural alternative that has been shown to help many people relieve their pain.
Arnica salve may not completely heal whatever issue may be at hand. But it can help to ease some pain or discomfort.
Purchase an Arnica Salve for yourself or a loved one so you can experience just how much relief it can bring.
And if you're unsure about whether or not Arnica really works for pain, read what some Arnica salve users have to say...
"I've been using Arnica Salve for three weeks for the moderate to severe arthritis in my knees. It helps quite a bit: I can sleep through the night using Arnica whereas I wake two to three times per night without." - Kimberley
"This little tin of salve is a wonder! I rub it on my arthritic thumbs and the pain is gone in mere seconds. It's great. Will definitely re-order." - Suzanne W.
"Thank God for you, we use a lot of your products since my wife found them last year. I say thank God because today we received our most recent order and it contained the arnica salve. After what seems like an eternity of pain in my shoulder and hand I actually feel relief from pain. I can say it works for the arthritis they say I have. Again thank God and God bless" - Kennith
As for my painful fingers that had spent hours typing...
I spent about three minutes massaging the Arnica salve into the joints on my fingers. I paid close attention to my left pinky which hurt the most. Then I got a drink of water, stretched, and went back to my typing.
By the time I finished an hour later, there was not a cramped pinky finger in sight!
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